Former Walbridge mayor runs for Congress

By Debbie Rogers, [email protected]

WALBRIDGE — The former mayor of Walbridge wants to challenge the longest-serving U.S. Congresswoman.

Dan Wilczynski will be running in the Republican primary in March, hoping to defeat Democrat Marcy Kaptur in November 2024.

Craig Riedel of Defiance announced on Monday that he is running again as a Republican candidate in Ohio’s 9th district.

“Let’s work for the common good. Let’s get America back,” Wilczynski said in an interview.

He said he decided to run for Congress after the November election, when Kaptur defeated J.R. Majewski, a Republican from Ottawa County.

“The big thing was the fact J.R. Majewski lost the last election,” Wilczynski said. “The country’s on a bad trajectory right now and I thought we could have flipped that seat.”

“I decided to get in the game.”

Wilcznyski said his issues include lobbying for parents’ rights, getting a handle on inflation and bringing people together.

He said he will bring everyone to the table to work for the common good.

“We also need to focus on getting a handle on inflation,” Wilczynski said. “That starts with fiscal policy … we are spending way too much money, way more than we bring in every year.”

The country needs a comprehensive energy policy, using all of its sources, he said.

Wilczynski touted his 41 years of business experience with three different companies in the energy sector: Toledo Edison, BP and Marathon Petroleum, all in leadership positions and team building.

He served as Walbridge mayor for 10 years, from 2003-13.

“We accomplished a lot of great things in Walbridge because we worked together as a team,” he said.

Some of his accomplishments as mayor include establishing a budget and building a rainy day fund. Wilczynski also served on village council for three years. He retired from Marathon in 2022.

When Kaptur defeated Majewski in November, she became the longest-serving woman in Congress history. She was first elected in 1982.

Majewski in May 2022 won the Republican nomination for U.S. House in Ohio’s 9th Congressional District, defeating Theresa Gavarone, Riedel and Beth Deck.

Gavarone is the state senator for Ohio’s 2nd District which includes all or part of Wood, Erie, Fulton, Lucas and Ottawa counties. She moved from Bowling Green to Huron to run for Congress.

The 9th District seat has been redistricted, and now includes parts of northern Wood County. It also includes all of Lucas County, and all or part of Defiance, Erie, Fulton, Henry, Ottawa, Sandusky and Williams counties.

Riedel, who announced on Monday that he is running again as a Republican candidate in Ohio’s 9th district, has served three terms as state representative, representing Defiance, Paulding, and Van Wert counties, as well as part of Auglaize County.

Wilczynski and Riedel, and anyone else who files, will face off in the primary, which is March 19, 2024.

“I just look forward to serving the people of Ohio’s 9th district, getting in and help my colleagues work together, pulling both sides of the aisle together,” he said.

“I think I’m the person who can beat Marcy Kaptur,” Wilczynski added. “I think people are looking for solutions not at either end of the spectrum. It takes working together.”

He and his wife, Lisa, have been married for 40 years. They have one son, Danny, who is 32 and works in the energy industry in Plano, Texas.

Wilczynski grew up in north Toledo and worked his way through high school at St. Francis in Toledo by working as part of the janitorial staff. He earned his mechanical engineering degree an MBA, from the University of Toledo.